I am writing today about a topic that has been stirring in my spirit for some time now. In the last couple of weeks and months, I have been intently made aware of what we say. There are many scriptures in the Bible on the tongue, our words, and speech. Our words have the power to change the emotional and spiritual atmosphere around us. When last did you contemplate the impact of gossip within the body of Christ?
Let’s talk about gossip. God has firmly taken me to task on my tongue. It was during this time that I became aware that we can easily harm our loved-ones with idle talk. The devil does not even have to lift a finger. It has not only been an eye-opener to me at how quickly we can start to talk about others, but it has also been painful to realize how casual Christians are with their conversations regarding other people. Instead of speaking about ourselves, we talk about others.
In psychology and other medical fields, a very important part of our ethical code of conduct is called confidentiality. We are never allowed to share any information, unless permitted by the patient or a court order, with any other person or colleague. It forever remains between the patient and the practitioner.
I think confidentiality is a concept we can all learn to apply. It will make our relationships stronger and healthier.
Gossip is when we share personal or sensitive information about others. It is sharing information about others that should not be shared because it is unkind and harmful. We can easily justify our talk about others as concern for them, but gossip is still talking about someone else behind their back.
Ask yourself this. What is the purpose of gossip? Gossip creates a sensation, and it creates a division between people. Gossip breaks trust. If people are quick to gossip to you, they can just as easily gossip about you.
We live in a society where we can share any experience at the touch of a button. Immediately it is out there in Cyberspace for all to see, never to be redacted. I think that a lot of people have reverted to over-sharing their life experiences on social media platforms, inadvertently desensitizing themselves to other people’s privacy.
So how do we become sensitive to our speech and refrain from gossiping? When you are in conversation, ask yourself the following questions or follow these rules.
1. What are you thinking about when you want to talk about someone else?
When we harbor unforgiveness or offense against someone, it can be hard to talk well about that person. Make sure that you take negative thoughts captive, resolve issues you might have with them before saying something you might regret for a long time. Fill your mind with things from above, which will assure that blessing will flow from your words.
Luke 6:45 ERV ”Good people have good things saved in their hearts. That’s why they say good things. But those who are evil have hearts full of evil, and that’s why they say things that are evil. What people say with their mouths comes from what fills their hearts.”
Philippians 4:8 AMP ”Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].”
2. Who are you keeping company with?
Gossip can be contagious if we do not make a conscious effort to keep quiet when others gossip. We should go so far as to call them out in love to change the subject and not to entertain such chatter. Keep each other accountable for what you say. Should you have friends not open to the idea to change their gossip habits at all, consider the value and quality of that friendship. Their influence might draw you further away from God.
Proverbs 16:28 AMP ”A perverse man spreads strife, And one who gossips separates intimate friends.”
2 Timothy 2:16 NIV ”Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.”
Proverbs 18:8 AMP “The words of a whisperer (gossip) are like dainty morsels [to be greedily eaten]; They go down into the innermost chambers of the body [to be remembered and mused upon].”
3. Remember who that person is.
We are all made in God’s image, have the same value, and are loved with an everlasting love by God. You have the power to sow a blessing or a curse in someone else’s life through your words. No one else can control your tongue other than yourself. Be quick to listen and slow to speak.
James (Jacob) 3:8-10 TPT ”but the tongue is not able to be tamed. It’s a fickle, unrestrained evil that spews out words full of toxic poison! We use our tongue to praise God our Father and then turn around and curse a person who was made in his very image! Out of the same mouth we pour out words of praise one minute and curses the next. My brothers and sister, this should never be!”
Ephesians 4:29 AMP ”Do not let unwholesome [foul, profane, worthless, vulgar] words ever come out of your mouth, but only such speech as is good for building up others, according to the need and the occasion, so that it will be a blessing to those who hear [you speak].”
4. Remember the golden rule in the Bible.
Would you want someone to gossip or spread rumors about you?
Luke 6:31 AMP “Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.”
5. We will be judged on every careless word spoken.
Matthew 12:36 TPT “You can be sure of this: when the day of judgment comes, everyone will be held accountable for every careless word he has spoken.”
6. Silence is golden for a reason.
We do not always have to say anything or talk along. Rather keep quiet. Do not spread rumors. It can stop with you.
Proverbs 17:9 AMP “He who covers and forgives an offense seeks love, But he who repeats or gossips about a matter separates intimate friends.”
7. Our wisdom in speech reflects our maturity in Christ.
We should always aim to become more like Christ. Our speech, when to speak, when to stay quiet, and when to change the conversation, proves our willingness to grow and mature as Christians.
James (Jacob) 1:26 TPT “If someone believes they have a relationship with God but fails to guard his words then his heart is drifting away and his religion is shallow and empty.”
8. By your words, you please God.
Psalm 19:14 ESV “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”
My prayer is that we will be intentional not to gossip. May we focus on the good in others, encourage, edify, love, build-up, and not criticize. Let’s choose our company well and think before we speak. Talk about things that matter, share your own story and testimony to give others hope and be that person that can be trusted.
Stay resolute my friend.
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